March 14: Partial building collapse | Library issues call to artists | Photography book explores “City Abandoned” | PennDOT updates Fishtown on I-95 timeline

Happy Friday, Eyes on the Street!

A partial building collapse occurred in Old City yesterday afternoon during demolition work at The Shirt Corner. Crews were attempting to dismantle a 40-foot wall from 257 Market St. when the wall buckled, fell west instead of east and crushed the adjacent building. Bricks from the adjacent property, which was also slated for demolition, fell into North 3rd Street. While North 3rd Street was blocked off, multiple people say they were in stores across the street, and some claim to have felt rubble hit the buildings. No one was injured in the collapse. 

The Free Library of Philadelphia announced a call for artistic designs to be installed in five neighborhood libraries. The designs are intended to prompt questions like “How do we define community?” and “What is the role of the Library in our daily lives?” The call is part of the Free Library’s efforts to redefine local branches to better meet neighborhood needs and is open exclusively to Philadelphia residents. 

Vincent Feldman started taking photos of the city’s iconic buildings and locations in 1990. Now he’s releasing those photos and a story of the city in transition in his book City Abandoned: Charting the Loss of Civic Institutions in Philadelphia. “I feel a loss when I see these buildings in the condition that they’ve been left in,” Feldman told Newsworks. “I see potential in the buildings even as it exists as a near ruin.” Feldman says he wants to celebrate the buildings. He hopes many will be reborn and repurposed with a public mission. 

PennDOT and URS Corp updated Fishtown neighbors on Revive-95 progress and were met with groans of disbelief when they told residents the construction will take ten years. Noise complaints and public inconveniences were issues of concern at a recent meeting, but PennDOT and URS say overall neighbors have remained patient. “Once this is all done it makes it a lot easier for folks to get to Fishtown and enjoy all the things Fishtown has to offer,” said Kate McKlow Harwin, Fishtown Neighbors Association president. 

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